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By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, July 22, 2014

'Uncropping' a Cropped Photo

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When you’re on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation and you’re experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime moment—you only get one chance to get the shot. And in the heat of the moment, a lot of us fall prey to the “photographer’s sin,” as Deke calls it: cropping out an arm, a leg, or some other vital body part.

Take the image featured in this episode of Deke’s Techniques, starring Deke’s sons Sam and Max. They’re posed on the top of the Ixmoja pyramid among the ruins of Coba, an ancient Maya city. It’s a great photograph in every way except two: The horizon is crooked and poor Sam’s foot is cut off.

Luckily, Deke has a way to salvage this photo: using the Crop and Content-Aware Fill tools to both straighten and “uncrop” the photograph.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Selectively convert photos to black and white

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Selective color adjustment is almost as old as photography. It was just 20 years after photography was officially “born” in 1839, that photographers started hand-painting images. Today selective colorization is easy for anyone to achieve with digital tools like Photoshop. Instead of recoloring areas of a monochrome image, you desaturate a color image, masking the portions you wish to remain in color. Deke shows you how in this week’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, July 08, 2014

How to Draw a Penrose Triangle in Illustrator

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Last week, you created a Möbius strip in Adobe Illustrator. This week, Deke expands on this technique—expanding it into three dimensions, to be precise. Here in this movie he’ll show you how to draw a Penrose triangle — an impossible object — where each corner seems to simultaneously recede and advance toward the viewer. It’s impossible because it can’t actually be built as one solid object. But it can be drawn that way!

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Drawing a Möbius Strip in Illustrator

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Möbius strips: the stuff of wonder. A favorite of Escher and other pop artists. The shape that launched a thousand armchair philosophers.

It’s a flat loop with two sides—but only one continuous surface. The best example is a long strip of paper, like a streamer, that is twisted once and then looped. If you were small enough (or the strip large enough) to walk along the surface, you would traverse both sides of the paper without ever crossing the edge.

This week Deke shows you how to create an even more complex variation of a Möbius strip, which wraps around on itself a total of six times.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mask a Caricature Against a New Background

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Last week Deke showed you how to turn a portrait into a crazy carnival-style caricature with Photoshop. This week, he’ll show you how to mask that caricature onto a more dramatic background using the Color Range command, Quick Mask mode, and a layer mask.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Creating a Photo Caricature

Create a photo caricature in Photoshop

Put your photos through a digital funhouse with Photoshop. Today’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques shows you how to take any portrait and warp it into a photo caricature with the Liquify filter and Free Transform tool. The gist of the technique is emphasizing your subject’s most noticeable features. Large eyes? Make them round as saucers. Strong chin? Give it the Leno treatment. And if you warp and scale the portrait with Free Transform before you apply the Liquify tool, you’ll get even more dramatic results.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blend Two Exposures into One

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Learn how to blend two exposures and get the best of both worlds with Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop. Today’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques shows you how to take an underexposed landscape photograph and create a lighter, brighter version of it to reveal all its detail—then combine the two images for a third, more dramatic image. As Deke explains, it’s just not possible to get the same effect with the Graduated Filter alone. It’s these two programs together that can help rescue your most extreme exposures.

Find out how to create a lighter version of the image with Camera Raw’s development tools, and combine the bright foreground with the darker sky of the original exposure using Photoshop’s masking capabilities. Deke also shows how to enhance the effect with a graduated filter and add a round of High Pass Sharpening to bring all the details of the final image into sharper relief. Click the free video to learn more.

Members of the lynda.com library can watch the follow-up movie to find out how to create the mask shown in this technique, from scratch. Then come back next week to learn how to create a photographic caricature using Photoshop’s Free Transform and Liquify tools.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Reduce Glare in a Photograph

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It’s a fact of nature: Light reflects off shiny surfaces. But that glare often distracts from the subject of your photographs, especially when they contain text or other small details, like the subject of this week’s episode of Deke’s Techniques—the board game Landslide. (Race to become the next President of the United States in the Parker Brothers “Game of Power Politics.”)

Deke has two different fixes for glare, and they both involve Adobe Photoshop.

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